The International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing is a project of the United Charitable Programs — a registered 501(c) (3) public charity.
All funds raised by The International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing are received by United Charitable Programs (UCP) and become the sole property of UCP which, for internal operating purposes allocates the funds to the project. The Program Manger makes recommendations for disbursements which are reviewed by UCP for approval.
The International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing (IAATH) is dedicated to the advancement and awareness of healing and health options for animals.
History of IAATH
IAATH was founded in 1999 after several years of organizational meetings by dedicated and diverse professionals wanting to help others in their fields. The founding council members contributed hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to ensure a solid foundation for IAATH with nothing to gain for themselves as all were professionals with successful practices. The vision was to help set standards and guidance in these emerging careers and dissolve the fear and conflict through collaborative models of working together for the well-being of animals.
IAATH’s Original Founding Council Members
IAATH was established in 1999.
Original Founding Members
- Mary Ann Simonds
- Linda Tellington-Jones
- Donna M. Starita, DVM
- Dennis O’Brien, DC
- Jim Helfter
- Gail Wetzler
- Bruce Jackson, DC
- Mimi Porter
Advisory Board Council
Today, IAATH invites you to share the vision of the founding council and members to help support and develop our international network and data base of information and resources in the animal therapy and healing fields. From massage therapy to aromatherapy and behavior to veterinary medicine, IAATH is the only integrated voice representing all disciplines in animal health care. Thank you for joining us!
Original Advisory Board Council
- Mary Brennen, DVM
- Mary Bromily
- Don Burt
- Marvin Cain, DVM
- Mike Foss, DVM
- Michael Fox, DVM
- Mike Gleason, DC
- Kevin Haussler, DVM, DC, PhD
- Fran Jurgan
- David Miller, DVM
- Grant Myhre, DVM
- Kerry Ridgway, DVM
- Allen Schoen, DVM
- Jim Waldsmith, DVM
What is IAATH?
IAATH is an alliance of professional healers, therapists, concerned companies and individuals dedicated to assisting in the maintenance, balance and enhancement of the body, mind and spirit of all animals. IAATH is a project of Congressional District Programs Inc., a registered 501(c) (3) public charity and your contributions are tax deductible.
IAATH is a foundation based on diverse backgrounds, ideas, expertise and education. We have come together as an alliance to share our vision and raise consciousness. For more information about IAATH, please download our brochure:
IAATH is committed to the continuing development of education, communication, support and opportunities for all those interested in animal health care. IAATH is a platform where all healing modalities may come together to work for the welfare of the animal kingdom. We advocate a strong code of ethics for animal therapy professionals.
Throughout history new ideas and methods have challenged traditional thinking. With the new millennium comes the opportunity for growth and consciousness expansion. New thoughts on what constitutes optimal health care have entered mainstream thinking. Today we seek more complete and concerned approaches to health care for ourselves and our animal companions. The organization was formed in response to:
- The growing number of people in addition to veterinarians who are seeking professions working with animals.
- The increased awareness and desire of animal guardians (owners) to have choices and take part in their animal’s health care. Huge numbers of consumers are seeking non-veterinary health assistance with their animal, and are demanding a right to choose the type of health care they want.
- The need to address legalities in various countries and jurisdictions concerning who has the right to provide health care to animals. In many states and countries, out-dated laws make it illegal for a veterinarian to refer to non- veterinary health care professional such as a chiropractor, behaviorist, nutritionist, acupuncturist, or massage or physical therapist.
- Veterinarians who wish to find and refer to other health care professionals.
- The need to determine competency in these emerging fields.
To assist in the development of these new animal health care options and their associated careers IAATH recognizes the need to:
- Define the language and careers of the new health care fields.
- Educate the public, practitioners and students.
- Ensure the options for professional animal health.
- Provide a model for professional standards.
- Offer common ground for sharing information and research.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
It is our vision that the future of animal health care will be shared among veterinarians and other concurrent care practitioners working together and providing the best possible health options for animals in conjunction with the animal guardians. In order for this to manifest, fear must be transmuted into compassion and courage, animal health care professionals must work together sharing experiences, data, questions, and knowledge, and good information of health care options must be easily available and clearly communicated to animal guardians (consumers). To achieve this goal, IAATH is focusing its current resources on developing an interactive membership based web site that will allow people to easily share information, search natural health care options, practitioners, and schools, stay current on best available health care options and legislative actions, and network with other organizations and interested people.
IAATH has sponsored three international conferences and will continue to support education of its members with periodic conferences. We ask all members to help “get the word out” by sharing information about IAATH and its goals.
IAATH is entirely a volunteer organization and relies on its members to become involved. There are several things that you can do. Such as:
- Become Informed and Inform Others
The average animal guardian is not aware of many of the health care options available, nor are they aware that it is illegal in many areas to practice modalities if you are not a veterinarian. The more knowledgeable you become, the more you can share with others. Educating both animal guardians and local veterinarians about your concurrent practice can dissolve mis-trust and provide a valuable resource to the animals. Educating the local legislative representatives about your concerns can also set things in motion.
- Input Information on IAATH Web Site
The web site will only be as good as what people put on it. Don’t assume others know what you know. Check the site every week and input information on legislative action, what other organizations are doing, upcoming conferences, news brief, research studies, case study reviews, book reviews, and any other information that you feel others in IAATH would be interested in knowing.
- Recruit Others to Join IAATH
By increasing membership, IAATH will be able to offer more support to members, gain influence with other organizations and governments, increase educational opportunities, increase outreach and recognition for members, and help to ensure “freedom of choice” for animals and their people.
- Communicate Message
Write articles for local papers or magazines on animal health issues and the need to have all options available, ie freedom of choice. Submit case studies and research papers for other conferences and scientific publication. The more people become educated, the faster the “paradigm” will change. Send press releases to newspapers and magazines about news and issues that may affect local people and their animals.
Issues that may attract media support are such things as:
- “Consumers” and Animal Guardians should have the right to choose health care for their animals from any practitioners they wish. Time has proven that good treatments will always be in demand and those not supported with success will die by the wayside. In most states and countries it is illegal for non-veterinary professionals to practice.
- Many health options like herbal support, massage, and homeopathy were standard practices up until 1920s when drugs were introduced. “Old ideas” and treatments need to be brought back into mainstream if they have proven results.
- Veterinary insurance often does not cover holistic or natural modalities that the vet learned outside of vet school, thus limiting the ability of many vets to offer treatments or services outside their training. They may not even refer to them.
- Vet schools reflect the training and paradigm of their financial supporters. This has focused training for vets on surgery and drug therapy. Schools should be held accountable for educating vets in all the scientifically supported modalities and informing students where they can obtain further training in modalities not taught at their school. The consumer believes vets are trained to meet the letter of the law and when a vet does not offer health options they are unfamiliar with, it limits the animal’s ability to obtain the “best available science” for diagnosis and/or treatment.
- Form Task Teams With Other Local and/ or Regional Professionals
If it is currently illegal in your region to practice, then changing the laws is critical to the advancement of health care for animals. (Refer to the new California “freedom to practice” law for an example) You can not change laws by yourself, but banning together with veterinarians and other professional practitioners and approaching your local representative with a good draft bill will usually get results with little opposition. Focus on the benefit to the consumers, the right for people to choose, and the economic loss to the state if they do not allow the practices. Collect and present good data representing all sides of the issue with the benefit clearly identified.
The information on this web site is an evolving attempt to address these needs. Here you will find forms for joining, an online discussion group, information about “alternative” therapies, a directory of our sponsors and their areas of expertise and much more. We welcome you.
Please consider joining IAATH and becoming a sponsor (The legal nature of our association makes it necessary for us to call our members “sponsors”). Our sponsors are health care practitioners, conscientious guardians, educational institutions, healers and animal lovers of all breeds. We welcome your support.